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    Thread: GMT360 - are they any good?

    1. Member GolfTango's Avatar
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      01-14-2019 06:24 PM #1
      I found myself surrounded between three of these tonight, two Envoys and a Trailblazer. Two had seen better days the third was in great shape. No rust on any of them that I could see. Got me thinking on how many of these I see on a daily basis still chugging along. So it appears that GeeEm did an okay job on these, or am I delusional and the ones I see have had lots of work to keep them roadworthy?






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    3. Member fireside's Avatar
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      01-14-2019 06:27 PM #2
      The 4.2L Vortec I6 is a great great engine, one of the more reliable engines of our time - naturally it's a straight six. The 4L60 transmission leaves a bit to be desired, but generally held up okay in these. Overall pretty reliable - a lot of electrical gremlins though. HVAC issues, radio issues, and gauge cluster issues that plague most GM's of this era.

      I'd own one, but I'd probably jump on a same year Explorer over one of these.. especially with the 4.6L V8.
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    4. Member Stevo12's Avatar
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      01-14-2019 06:30 PM #3
      Back when I worked at Enterprise in the mid-00's, the Trailblazers (especially the later facelift ones with grill bars in the headlights) were some of my favorite rides. They were comfortable on the highway, had great pickup (those 4.2L engines are pretty sweet), and could seemingly take a lot of abuse.


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      01-14-2019 06:45 PM #4
      My anecdata:

      I had two friends who picked up Trailblazer SS's (same platform with the LS V8). These were the "best of the best"

      - One wanted to set his on fire, literally. Thing was always in the shop for low build quality issues.

      - The other threw parts at his constantly, but loved it despite its (many) failings.

      Not a great platform. get something based on the full-sized platform (Silverado or Tahoe) instead.
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    6. Member Ef1Fitty's Avatar
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      01-14-2019 07:17 PM #5
      Had a 2002 Trailblazer LTZ that we used for Storm chasing, super comfortable on long rides and we had few issues with it. The Fan clutch is notoriously bad and we replaced ours with an electronic fan. The ignition switch is a high failure point.

      The 4.2 I6 is a great motor and sounds really nice, the transmission is only a 4 speed so the fuel economy isn't fantastic. We beat the **** out of it and it kept on going. Our trips were 8-10,000mi over 2 weeks so it got a workout







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      01-14-2019 10:24 PM #6
      I see a lot of them in rough shape in my area of the country. I don't know if that is due to the sheer number of them sold or they way they aged and wore.

    8. Member MGQ's Avatar
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      01-14-2019 10:43 PM #7
      My parents have a 2002 Envoy 4.2L. It was (is?) solid and has well over 200k on it now. As mentioned above, sometimes the electronics got a bit weird; sometimes A/C or heated seats would not respond until you cycled the ignition or worst case disconnected the battery for a few seconds sometimes.

      The I6 is really nice and it tows well, ours had the 4x4/4x4Auto/4x2/4 low transfer case and it worked well, we left it in Auto most of the time and it did a good job of engaging without much wheelspin. 4 low was nice for yanking the boat out of our rocky boat launch at the cabin. 4x4 traction and ground clearance are good for the soft/dirt/off roading we did with it.

      For a body on frame SUV I think that the highway manners and high speed stability are quite good, even on slick surfaces. It's not sports car but it's very car like and easy to handle. After many years of salty Michigan winters its starting to get rust along the bottom of the doors and I think my parents only use it to keep my Mom's NA Sunburst off the road in the winter.

      At well over 200,000 miles, I think the main things it has needed are new catalytic converters and a camshaft sensor on the front of the engine that got gummed up with old oil. I think my Dad did tie rods on it too at some point but that's just standard wear stuff on something that old. I would buy one if I needed that kind of vehicle for that price range.
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    9. 01-14-2019 10:50 PM #8
      Most trailblazers i see are beaters , seems like many NYC roach cart owners like them for towing they're carts into manhattan

    10. Member CostcoPizza's Avatar
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      01-14-2019 11:48 PM #9
      In the age of 2.0Ts its crazy that a 4.2 I6 was a standard motor not too long ago.

    11. 01-15-2019 08:52 AM #10
      my wifes has been dead reliable. 115k miles and nothing literally but oil changes, brakes, and tires. Only issue we had outside of that was a windshield wiper module going bad and water pump leak. Hands down the best car we have owned in terms of reliability. I agree that I see many that are beat to death, but I see other similar to ours that are garage kept and look showroom fresh. People that have the SS version tend to take very good care of them unless you find the person that modded it. My son is 13 and the plan is he will be driving this when he turns 16. If the last 8 years of ownership are any indication, wont be a problem

      Also dont look at these and think the interior is going to be Acura or BMW quality inside. It is a 2000's era GM product. Decent but not luxury. The I6 in its simplicity make it just a great engine. Gas mileage is Ok, and really the tranny is the real issue why. Had this car come with a better tranny, it would get better MPGs. Change the tranny fluid per GM guidelines which is not flushing but dropping the pan, changing the filter and replacing fluids, you will never see an issue. People run to the oil change places and get tranny flushes and the things start getting issues 10 or 20k later.
      Last edited by Mr Roo; 01-15-2019 at 09:11 AM.

    12. 01-15-2019 09:07 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by HarryC View Post
      My anecdata:

      I had two friends who picked up Trailblazer SS's (same platform with the LS V8). These were the "best of the best"

      - One wanted to set his on fire, literally. Thing was always in the shop for low build quality issues.

      - The other threw parts at his constantly, but loved it despite its (many) failings.

      Not a great platform. get something based on the full-sized platform (Silverado or Tahoe) instead.
      Its funny to hear that. You do hear some complain about electrical stuff, but never about the truck in general especially the SS. SS's still bring good money. When I look at them used they fall into two categories. Person selling it had babied it and sat in a garage. When you look at these, you almost ask did you drive it. The other category is a person that owned it beat the snot of it because it had the LS in it.

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      01-15-2019 09:08 AM #12
      My wife had one, and we both really liked it. It rode and handled really well for a BOF SUV, and it ate up gravel and dirt roads like they were regular asphalt. It had a nice torquey motor, and the 4L60e was in the right gear 99% of the time. She owned it since new, and had the gauge cluster recall performed that fixed the inop fuel gauge and speedometer. We eventually got rid of it when the transmission died at 150k, but I wish we had just rebuilt the transmission and kept going. It is a really solid feeling vehicle that you don’t really find much anymore. Sure, the interior was ugly, but overall it held up well.

      Our trailblazer never had any electric problems besides the gauge cluster recall, but I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that it never saw snow or salt. It was a 2wd model, and it was awful in snow. Apparently the electrical problems are caused by corroding body grounds, and there’s a million of them spread throughout the car, some easier to get to than others.

      Oh, and we got horrendous gas mileage. 14-15mpg was the normal around town mileage. We could get 20ish on the highway if we drove slowly, but on one trip to Louisiana from North Carolina, we managed a wonderful 17mpg average due to the 80-90mph speeds we were travelling on I-20.

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      01-15-2019 06:54 PM #13
      They are pretty crappy overall, and they do have some weird issues, but they are durable, parts are REALLY cheap, and they can be had for next to nothing. Its not a car you buy for nice interiors, precision craftsmanship, overall refinement, etc. But they work and can take a beating.

    15. 01-15-2019 07:07 PM #14
      I am amazed nobody else has said it yet, but: from 2003-2009 model years, you could get an aluminum block 5.3L V8 in these things.
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      01-15-2019 07:12 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by CostcoPizza View Post
      In the age of 2.0Ts its crazy that a 4.2 I6 was a standard motor not too long ago.
      Why is that crazy? It’s not a tiny crossover masquerading as an SUV, it’s a legit body on boxed frame truck.
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    17. Senior Member Iroczgirl's Avatar
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      01-15-2019 09:37 PM #16
      I remember that 6 banger seemed reliable at the time, but the truck around it would always fall apart. Poor build quality.
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      01-15-2019 09:52 PM #17
      A family friend had a couple new back around 2002/2006. I remember the 4.2 being responsive with plenty of power in the upper part of the powerband. The interiors were solid but nothing special (which was above average for a GM product of that era). I also had a coworker with one in the Saab 9-7x guise. The interior was much better—and that one had the LS from the SS. Still not my bag but it seems like the one to get. FWIW most of the ones I see still on the road around here have transmission whine that you can hear a block away. I assume that’s due to lack of maintenance but don’t really know.
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    19. Member Stevo12's Avatar
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      01-15-2019 10:40 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by TurboMinivan View Post
      I am amazed nobody else has said it yet, but: from 2003-2009 model years, you could get an aluminum block 5.3L V8 in these things.
      Weren't those only available in the EXT?

      Those were some long sumbitches, IIRC longer than the comparable-year Tahoe.

    20. Don't be me. Don't be a 'Rick' Cabin Pics's Avatar
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      01-15-2019 10:40 PM #19
      My mechanic friends, most of whom are GM fanboys, tell most people to avoid these. If you're going to get a GM truck get a real truck, Tahoe or Yukon, as these are generally issue ridden.

      That could explain why these don't hold their value like the above vehicles.
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    21. Member HI SPEED's Avatar
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      01-16-2019 05:49 AM #20
      My GF's aunt had a Envoy SUT, or was is XUV? Pretty novel concept. You actually had to give it to GM, back in those days they were really experimenting with vehicles like this and the Avalanche. We put it to good use, I actually transported all the trees on our property with it, and the fact it would turn back into a SUV at the push of a button was really cool IMO. If this type of hybrid SUV/Truck was still a thing I would want one. Really best of both worlds.









      That being said I certainly cannot recommend you buy one. This is total anecdotal experience with just this one truck, but I have never been up close to such a disaster of a car ownership experience. They bought it brand new off the lot, for a considerable amount, no haggling. It spent more time at the dealership then they had it on the road(months). Every conceivable thing that could break from the powertrain to the windows broke to the point it was almost funny. Eventually they threw in the towel and picked up a toyota SUV, taking a bath of many, many thousands of dollars. Not sure why they didn't lemon it since it qualified 6x over, but they could afford to just walk away so they did.
      Last edited by HI SPEED; 01-16-2019 at 05:58 AM.

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      01-16-2019 06:18 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by jddaigle View Post
      FWIW most of the ones I see still on the road around here have transmission whine that you can hear a block away. I assume that’s due to lack of maintenance but don’t really know.
      It’s not the transmission, it’s the idler pully. It goes bad regularly (50-60k was how long the idler lasted on my wife’s Trailblazer) and makes a ton of noise.

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      01-16-2019 07:15 AM #22
      I've posted about GMT360s in a few threads asking why they aren't more popular considering they are a dime a dozen. I'd love to have one with a mild lift to use as a beater and trail truck. I remember my friend had the Bravada variant and swore it was the best car he had driven in the snow. I drove it a few times and left thinking it was too large, but that was the early 2000s. It's probably considered average these days.

    24. Member 88c900t's Avatar
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      01-16-2019 08:02 AM #23
      It's very cheap on the used market and the powertrain is sturdy. Don't have high expectations, but it is still significantly better (and more reliable) than the Blazer S10 it replaced.

      Quote Originally Posted by HI SPEED View Post
      My GF's aunt had a Envoy SUT, or was is XUV? Pretty novel concept. You actually had to give it to GM, back in those days they were really experimenting with vehicles like this and the Avalanche. We put it to good use, I actually transported all the trees on our property with it, and the fact it would turn back into a SUV at the push of a button was really cool IMO. If this type of hybrid SUV/Truck was still a thing I would want one. Really best of both worlds.
      According to Bob Lutz, the XUV roof was a huge reliability problem and a bad business case.

      One of the things that led to GM's downfall was that by 2000, it was corporate policy that a certain percentage of newly introduced vehicles were not in an established segment. That's how you got the Aztek, avalanche, HHR, SSR, etc..
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      01-16-2019 08:08 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by TurboMinivan View Post
      I am amazed nobody else has said it yet, but: from 2003-2009 model years, you could get an aluminum block 5.3L V8 in these things.
      I've heard from a hard core GM enthusiast that I used to work with that you should stay away from the Trailblazers with the V8s, he said it wasn't designed for it and it makes too much heat in the engine bay, which ****s up the vehicle. The hardest core of GM enthusiasts (well really, any brand specific fanboys really) often live in a dreamworld of alternative facts, but it makes sense to me. Anecdotally, it seems like the XUV owners have more issues than the regular trailblazer/envoy owners, so maybe there's some truth to it.

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      01-16-2019 08:35 AM #25
      Mom had an Envoy XUV for 10 years, only issue in that period was the starter, gauge cluster stepper motor, and the divider window motor. I had a Trailblazer SS for four years, would still have it if I hadn't sold it to buy my house, but in that time I did front hubs, steering wheel position sensor and a pass side wheel speed sensor. That was it. ZERO other issues.

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